By Eliot Schickler

Having an impenetrable singles lineup is usually a recipe for victory in tennis. Especially when playing by FCIAC boys tennis rules in which there are five singles matches and only two doubles matches. The Staples boys tennis team is benefitting from its flawless singles lineup, which swept Darien at home on Wednesday in a 6-1 victory. Staples raised its record to 9-0 and Darien dropped to 6-3.

"On the singles side, the kids were determined to set the tone," Wreckers Coach Kris Hrisovulos said. "This has always been a rivalry and Darien is the type of team that can spoil a season, so we came in ready to play."

Junior Danny Hirschberg bageled Blue Wave senior tri-captain Louis Rawden, 6-0, 6-0.

"I was able to come to net a lot and take advantage of the points," Hirschberg said. "We are all playing great and the singles lineup is by far the strongest in the FCIAC."

At second singles, junior Jesse Heussner defeated senior tri-captain Britt Gordon, 6-3, 6-3. Last year, Gordon defeated Heussner at fourth singles, thus this match was payback for Heussner.

"I was serving very well today," Heussner said. "My serve was off this year and it's good to get it back. I had a lot more confidence and I won a lot of deuces. I tried to hit it to the middle so he wouldn't have a lot of angles and my coach helped me with that."

Freshman Cam Marco vanquished senior tri-captain Reilly Harmer at third singles, 6-1, 6-1; freshman Jake Hirschberg beat senior Dennis Conetta, 6-1, 6-3 at fourth singles; and senior captain Matt Greenberg beat topped junior Rupert Hansford 6-1, 6-1 at fifth singles.

Darien did better at doubles and won 7-5, 6-3, at first doubles behind seniors Charlie Taylor and Sam Jackson as they turned back Wrecker senior captains Kevin McDonald and Jordan Ratner. Second doubles was a dogfight as the teams split sets but in the end, Staples senior captains Sam Hickok and Alex Ratner won a deciding 10-point tiebreaker in the third set in edging freshmen Ryo Usami and Malcolm Willis, 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 10-5).

Staples faces its next test on Tuesday when it hosts New Canaan and following this match, it will face only easy opponents until the playoffs.

"I expect us to play like we did all year," Danny Hirschberg said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to win all of our singles matches and pull out one or two doubles match."

Hrisovulos said, "New Canaan has a lot of energy and they are undefeated. We will really have to be mentally prepared for this match. Having it at home will definitely be an advantage because we're comfortable playing here. All the matches will be a dogfight and we'll have to battle. I feel confident with the team and I like where we're at."